There once were just cowboys, cattle and wide open space, rambling across an eastern Oregon landscape too hot for most humans, too dry to grow much other than sagebrush, writes Amy Hsuan for the Associated Press.

Now, Oregon steaks are served in South Korea and ranchers fret over cattle damage to streams.

To hear rancher Ken Holliday tell it, the romance of ranching has long been gone. But the constant roller coaster ride that sapped the thrill is on a downhill run with the recession, leaving ranchers feeling beaten.

"It's never been easy to make a living," says Holliday, who runs a 10,000-acre ranch near John Day. "But now, you kind of wonder why you even do it."

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